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What is HVO? What does it do for plant equipment?

HVO is now one of the leading alternative fuels to use in the construction industry. With the changes in legislation relating to red diesel deadline in April 2022, HVO is likely to become the favoured choice for plant and construction equipment worldwide. 

Being prepared for the change to alternative fuels is crucial, however throughout this article we will discuss the following to help: 

  • What is HVO?
  • Is HVO any good?
  • Can HVO go in all diesel vehicles?

What is HVO?

HVO stands for hydrogenated or hydrotreated vegetable oil. It is made by reacting vegetables or other oils with hydrogen at high temperatures and pressure. It is one of the cleanest fuels available on the market, offering a 90% reduction in carbon emissions. Not only this, but it significantly reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO) as well. 

HVO is made by reacting vegetable, or other oils with hydrogen at high temperatures and pressure. It classes as a 2nd generation biodiesel that will replace red and white diesel throughout the construction industry. 

Is HVO a good fuel?

Overall, HVO is a great alternative fuel for plant machinery, with several additional financial and emission benefits. As HVO is made from renewable resources and does not contain FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester). 

It is a highly combustible product that ignites with ease. Letting off far less smoke or particulate emissions. Overall, HVO produces 90% fewer emissions when burnt. 

HVO has several properties that make it unique, but also beneficial to the customer. The most interesting of which is that it has a freezing point of -30 degrees, which is very similar to the diesel we know of today. 

Can HVO be used in all diesel construction machinery?

HVO fuels can be used in almost every diesel engine depending on their age. Some engines require a blend of HVO and diesel for them to run, however, generically, if the machine currently runs on white or red diesel, it should run perfectly fine of HVO too. 

HVO fuel adheres to EN15940 standard for paraffinic fuels and has been approved by many major OEMs.

What types of plant machinery can you expect to use HVO fuel?

As the current market of plant equipment is dominated by machines that use red diesel, you can expect the following machinery to be using HVO diesel:

  • Diggers/Excavators Link
  • Dumpers Link
  • Telehandlers Link
  • Rollers Link
  • Cranes Link

How long can you store HVO?

As HVO fuel contains no impurities, FAME or sulphur, so it boasts a significantly longer shelf life than regular diesel. That’s one of the many reasons why so many organisations are switching their diesel stocks for HVO. It can be stored for up to 10 years, whereas diesel requires much more regular testing and can be stored for up to just 1 year.

What are the benefits of using HVO fuel?

  • 100% biodegradable, renewable, sustainable, pure hydrocarbon
  • The hydrotreated production process removes impurities, which means less fuel maintenance and safer handling
  • Zero FAME, fossil and sulphur content thanks to its burn properties which reduce particulate production
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%
  • Improves your business’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Is HVO cheaper than diesel?

If you currently work in the construction industry, you will know a huge dynamic shift is occurring in 2022, with the reform from the use of red diesel. This will leave all tradesmen and businesses with only a few alternative resources. 

  • HVO Diesel- The most popular of all the alternative fuel options. Allowing the vast majority of machinery to continue operating, but just on a far clear fuel. 
  • Electricity- Electric machinery does somehow need to be recharged by a generator run off bio/HVO fuel. 
  • Hydrogen- Very new to the construction industry. The cost of hydrogen-filled machinery may well exceed what the cost of unleaded petrol is today.  

Due to the changes in the law HVO is far more expensive than the red diesel that construction has been used to.

This means that the cost of running machinery will increase significantly.  However, if you are currently using white diesel, the increase is far less frightening. Expect an increase of between 10-15% per litre. Inevitable this is forcing businesses to choose the most fuel-efficient equipment to make every litre count. 

What to do next with HVO and plant equipment?

Being prepared for the conversion to HVO or an alternative fuel source is something that all construction companies in the UK have to face before April 2022.

WHC Hire Services, supply businesses, tradesmen and even keen DIYers with the latest machinery available on the market. Our conversion to the use of HVO fuel took place back in April 2020 when the government announcement of the reformation of red diesel. This has allowed us to invest in the adequate infrastructure and suppliers of HVO fuels. All our plant machinery is delivered to our customers with the cleanest HVO 100 fuel available on the market. With constant investment into the quality of our fleet, we can bring customers the latest, most fuel-efficient machinery available on the market. Saving customers’ money, along with remaining compliant with the new UK government’s legislation. See the latest HVO plant equipment here.